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G.R. No.

161434

March 3, 2004

MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON and FELIX B. DESIDERIO, JR., petitioners,


vs.
The COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RONALD ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.) and
VICTORINO X. FORNIER, respondents.
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G.R. No. 161634

March 3, 2004

ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ, petitioner,


vs.
RONALD ALLAN KELLEY POE, a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR., respondent.
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G. R. No. 161824

March 3, 2004

VICTORINO X. FORNIER, petitioner,


vs.
HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RONALD ALLAN KELLEY POE, ALSO KNOWN AS
FERNANDO POE JR., respondents.
HOLDING:
Section 39, Rule 130, of the Rules of Court provides Act or Declaration about pedigree. The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the
pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred before
the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or
declaration. The word `pedigree includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and
the places where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history
intimately connected with pedigree."
For the above rule to apply, it would be necessary that (a) the declarant is already dead or unable to testify, (b) the
pedigree of a person must be at issue, (c) the declarant must be a relative of the person whose pedigree is in
question, (d) declaration must be made before the controversy has occurred, and (e) the relationship between the
declarant and the person whose pedigree is in question must be shown by evidence other than such act or
declaration.

FACTS:
-

On December 31, 2003 Fernandoe Poe, Jr. or Ronald Allan Kelly Poe file a certificate of candidacy for the
position of president of the republic of the Philippines under KNP.

In his certificate of candidacy FPJ represented himself as a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, his date
of birth on August 20, 1939 and his place of birth was Manila.

Complainant Fornier alleged that made a material representation in his certificate of candidacy claiming to
be a natural-born Filipino citizen. His mother was Bessie Kelly Poe and Father Allan Poe could not have
transmitted his Filipino Citizenship to FPJ.

Fornier on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before
his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married
Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent.

A duly notarized declaration made by Rubby Kelley Mangahas was also part of evidence submitted by FPJ

ISSUE: Is FPJ a natural-born Filipino Citizen?

RULING:
Yes.
In ascertaining, in G.R. No. 161824, whether grave abuse of discretion has been committed by the COMELEC, it is
necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended
on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the
affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino
citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn
from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year
1870, when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his
death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such
that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in
1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of
respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship
to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate.
But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of
the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held
guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in
relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner has utterly failed to substantiate his case before the
Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to present their position and evidence, and to
prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in Romualdez-Marcos vs.
COMELEC, must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful.